9 Acts Of Service Love Language Ideas To Show Your Partner You Care
When it comes to love languages, the theory goes that we all have one of five. Those five love languages are: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. According to Dr. Gary Chapman, the man behind the love language theory, it's with these love languages that we express or interpret love. And, if you subscribe to this idea, each one of us leans more to one love language than another, even if we have aspects of all five.
For those whose love language is acts of service, they show their love and understand that they're loved through actions. For them, actions literally speak far louder than words when it comes to love.
"We usually desire love in either the way we received it growing up or in the way we didn't receive it but always desired it growing up. Acts of kindness is a great example of this," licensed psychologist and couples retreat leader in GA, Dr. Wyatt Fisher, tells Bustle. "For some of us, our caregivers growing up expressed love to us through thoughtful gestures. Now, as adults, thoughtful gestures is what we desire from our partner to feel loved and cared for. By definition, acts of kindness is anything your partner does for you that makes you feel appreciated, thought of, respected, or considered."
If your partner's love language happens to be acts of service, or acts of kindness, as Dr. Wyatt calls it, here are nine ideas to keep them knowing they're loved.
1. Picking Up A Treat For Them
"One simple example is your partner picking up your favorite snack at the store on their way home from work," Dr. Wyatt says.
Sure, it might seem, well, simple to use Dr. Wyatt's words, but acts of service don't need to be grandiose in nature. It's actually about the little things and the fact that you did something for your partner because they crossed your mind.
2. Clean The House
“If you’re with a partner who has the acts of service love language, the key thing to remember is to place an emphasis on showing your love, rather than telling them you love them,” Demetrius Figueroa, founder of the dating blog and podcast A Mighty Love, tells Bustle. “We all like to hear that our partner loves us, but if your partner speaks the act of service love language, actions will speak louder than words.”
Although no one particularly likes to do chores, if your partner's love language is acts of service, then cleaning the bathroom when it's not your turn (or taking the initiative on other household chores) says a lot. Besides, partners who share the chores more equally have more sex, so... you do the math on that one.
3. Offer Your Partner A Massage
If you know your partner had one heck of a day, offering to give them a shoulder rub, as Dr. Wyatt suggests, or even a whole body massage will be a welcomed relief. While it may also fall under the love language physical touch, rubbing away the stress of the day is certainly an act of service too.
4. Do Something You Don't Necessarily Want To Do
A night out with your partner's family or friends may not seem like your idea of a fantastic way to spend your time, but to your partner this act means a lot. What makes this act even better and more meaningful is offering to go before even being asked.
5. Make Them Dinner
“Having a partner who speaks the acts of service love language doesn’t mean that you’ll need to cater to their every whim, you just need to show them that you love them primarily through actions,” Figueroa says. “It can be as simple as cooking your partner a meal or getting them tickets to see a film that they mentioned that they wanted to see."
As Figueroa explains, you don't have to do everything for your partner. You just need to put effort into your actions by really thinking about ways to show your appreciation.
6. Help Them With A Project
If you know your partner has a lot going on, personally or professionally, there's no better way of initiating acts of service like helping them out on a project. Whether that project is at home or work-related, offering to help out, even in the smallest way, can mean a lot.
7. Encourage Your Partner To Go Out With Their Friends
As Dr. Wyatt points out, acts of service is steeped in acknowledging what is important to your partner. If you know that your partner enjoys going out on the town with their friends, Dr. Wyatt suggests you encourage that. You'll still be there when they get home and it's important to have a healthy balance of friend time and partner time.
8. Give Them The Day Off
Everyone deserves a day off sometimes. If you give your partner a full day off from all the usual day-to-day annoyances, so they can focus on other things they find fulfilling or treat themselves to a day a practicing self-care, they'll feel truly appreciated through this act of kindness and generosity.
9. Pay Attention
When it comes to mastering the art of acts of service for your partner, it's about paying attention more than anything else. It's those little things that no one notices except for you that, when you do them, say so much more than the actual words, "I love you." In other words, there's no need for words.
"[If someone's partner's love language is acts of service], they do little things that mean a lot to you," licensed psychotherapist Dr. Jill Murray tells Bustle. "Fill your car with gas, wipe down the shower door, play music in the car that they might not necessarily like but you do."
Ultimately, acts of service means lending a helping hand to your partner, both when they need it and even when they don't. It's about acknowledging their love language — acts of service — and performing actions that communicate your feelings so they can feel loved.